Planning is now under way for the North American Congress on Mercy (NACOM), with the Marians of the Immaculate Conception providing key strategic direction.
NACOM will take place Nov. 14-15, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Organizers are focusing on specific plenary sessions, agenda items, and venues as part of an extensive follow-up to the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy held in April this year in Rome. There may also be an ecumenical and inter-religious gathering on the evening of Friday, Nov. 13, 2009. Following the main event, regional and diocesan events will continue in North America through 2010. Some preparatory events are also being planned for earlier in 2009.
Father Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, Marian director of Evangelization and Development, serves as NACOM vice president. NACOM President Fr. Matthew M. Mauriello, a pastor of a parish in Bridgeport, Conn., in opening a planning session July 15 on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Mass., thanked and acknowledged the Marians for their “outstanding contributions to this enormous outreach effort for mercy.”
Father Mauriello announced plans to form an executive committee consisting of Church leaders in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. These leaders will provide NACOM with direction and support.
Though planning for NACOM is in its early stages, Fr. Kaz says he is excited about the gathering’s possibilities for ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. “We will borrow from the World Congress and make this event in Washington an ecumenical and inter-religious gathering.”